Two new Trader Joe’s
A fifth Manhattan location of grocery store Trader Joe’s has opened on the Upper West Side at 670 Columbus Ave., between 92nd and 93rd streets. The debut quickly drew long lines that snaked out the door as a mariachi band played for the opening. A sixth location in Soho is also on the way, with an opening date of May 18 announced for the store at 233 Spring St. between Varick Street and Sixth Avenue.
Shake Shack walks back its no-cash attempt
After opening a new, cashless Shake Shack on Astor Place last year, the giant burger chain is adding some cashiers to the location so that customers can pay cash. The homegrown restaurant found that people often still want to pay with cash, so it will move forward with the automated ordering, but also have some cashiers at stores to catch the cash-preferred group.
Big Nick’s on the UWS is kind of back
Welcome the return of Big Nick’s, the longtime Upper West Side American and Greek restaurant that had been open 24 hours in the neighborhood for decades. It’s gone through a few ownership changes, and most recent owners were sued by employees for wage theft. But new owners have again taken over the space and reopened the restaurant recently, originally setting out to position it as another location of their mini-chain Gyroshop. But, once Big Nick’s regulars came in droves, they are pivoting slightly to include old favorite dishes such as the burgers. The new name is Big Nick’s Pizza/Gyroshop.
Affection for Fred’s, the NY-grown Barney’s restaurant
Barney’s beloved American restaurant Fred’s has a new cookbook out, and to cover it, the Times ran a look at the restaurant’s history in NYC. Started in 1996, the Madison Avenue restaurant is now a power scene in the city where the likes of President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and TV personality Donny Deutsch dine, alongside Upper East Siders who have been going for many years.
The Robs review Carroll Gardens all-day cafe
New York magazine critics Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld reviewed Madcap Cafe, a new all-day restaurant in Carroll Gardens from a fine dining vet. Chef-owner Heather Fuller has worked at Per Se, Momofuku Ko, and Nix, and the Robs say that background shines through in dishes like vegetable “nachos” that take crudite and update it by thinly slicing the vegetables and drizzling them with green goddess dressing and pico de gallo so that every bite has dressing on it. They also enjoy the souvlaki-like flatbread sandwiches, stuffed with hoisin maitake mushrooms, and the very cheese mac and cheese. Three stars (out of five).